Urgent Response drill tests emergency response readiness aboard Lejeune

26 Mar 2014 | Cpl. Joshua W. Grant

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune will host its annual Urgent Response drill to provide the training and evaluation of emergency response plans aboard base April 3, at 8:30 a.m. in the II Marine Expeditionary Force area.

This year’s scenario involves active shooters with mass casualties escalating into a barricaded hostage situation.

Joseph Hanks, exercise director, said the goal is to improve mass notification of all persons aboard the base and incident reporting, while looking for areas that need improvement.

The exercise ensures all training and response systems work properly. Mass and Giant Voice notification systems, as well as crisis response, incident reporting and evacuation drills will be evaluated.

“One of the main challenges for us will be smooth cohesion between the Naval Criminal Investigative Service reaction team and the Provost Marshal’s Office Special Reaction Team,” said Hanks. “This will be the first time they are together, but we’re confident they will get the job done.”

Hanks added another challenge is locking down the II MEF area because of the large number of Marines at the location.

Mark Starnes, emergency manager for Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, said the scenario will greatly test the hospital due to construction and changes to response plans.

“Our emergency room and triage areas are much different than they have been in the past,” said Starnes. “We have incorporated more specialized personnel into our response plans to ensure all avenues are addressed and covered during the scenario.”

Starnes added during the scenario, the hospital will still be in operation for appointments and patients in need, including the emergency room.


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